The Dallas Cowboys went on the offensive with their first-round selection, taking Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft Thursday night.
Elliott, considered the top running back in the draft, comes to Dallas with the opportunity to contribute immediately to an offense that was among the worst in the NFL in 2015, contributing heavily to the Cowboys' 4-12 record.
Before the draft Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones called Elliott "a Top 10 player for sure."
"He’s obviously a very quality type player and seems like he’s pretty much universally looked at as a guy who deserves to be in that category," Jones said.
To take Ramsey the Cowboys passed on Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, a player that would have addressed their need in the secondary.
Elliott finished his career at Ohio State as its second all-time leading rusher, finishing with 3,961 yards and 43 rushing touchdowns. The 2015 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Elliott also earned All-America honors last season and anchored the Buckeyes' surge to the 2014 National Championship. With Elliott as the starting running back the Buckeyes lost one game in two years.
The Cowboys didn't make a move in the first round, standing pat at No. 4 while the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles executed their long-rumored strategies. The Rams took Cal quarterback Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick, while the Eagles took North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz.
The San Diego Chargers, at No. 3, ended up passing on Ramsey, despite their need at safety, and took Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa. One of the best parlor games on Thursday was trying to figure out what the Chargers would do with the pick, as they were rumored to want everyone from Ramsey to tackles Laremy Tunsil and Ronnie Stanley and defensive ends Bosa and DeForest Buckner.
The Cowboys will be back on the clock on Friday when they have the No. 3 pick in the second round (No. 34 overall) and the No. 4 pick in the third round (No. 67 overall), assuming they do not trade back into the first round to select another player.
Want to talk more about Elliott? Head to the CowboysHQ.com message boards or hit up Matthew Postins @PostinsPostcards or Mike Fisher @FishSports